Tag Archive for Labor Day

Morning Links: Uber & Lyft join Bird & Lime in SaMo, San Gabriel River path closure, and Metro bus squeeze play

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the three-day Labor Day weekend.

Which means the streets will be filled with drivers leaving work early this afternoon to get a head start on the weekend. And the drinking — and smoking — will start soon after, and continue through Monday. 

Standard holiday rules apply. Assume every driver you see on the streets is under the influence. And those who aren’t are more likely to be looking at their phones than looking for you.

So ride accordingly.

Ride your bike safely and defensively. I want to see you back here bright and early Tuesday morning. 

Photo by Michael Spadoni from pexels.com

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Cooler heads prevailed in Santa Monica, which chose existing e-scooter providers Bird and Lime to participate in a year-long pilot program, along with newcomers Uber and Lyft.

Yes, that Uber and Lyft.

Each company will be allowed to provide up to 1,000 scooters and 2,000 ebikes in the coastal city, with 750 scooters allowed in the initial rollout.

Uber appears to be the only one of the four which currently has ebikes available with their Jump bikes. Presumably Lyft and Lime will follow suit, though it’s unclear if Bird has any interest in getting into the bikeshare business.

Let’s hope Los Angeles, which was supposed to send out cease and desist letters to both Bird and Lime this week, is paying attention.

Because this is how a smart city does it.

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A look at data in Charlotte NC shows that on a level playing field, dockless e-scooters are kicking dockless bikeshare’s ass, with nearly four times as many trips taken on scooters.

However, that could change once e-bikeshare is added to the mix.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg takes a look at Uber’s new Jump scooter.

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Mark your calendar if you ride the San Gabriel River Bike Path in Long Beach.

The city is working with the Los Angeles Department of Public Works on a plans for a one-day closure of the bike path between 2nd Street and 7th Street (California State Highway 22) next month.

The closure is tentatively set for September 17, 2018 from 8 am to 5 pm; plans should be finalized in another week or two.

Thanks to Long Beach Mobility & Healthy Living Programs Officer Michelle Mowery for the heads-up.

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CiclaValley got caught in a squeeze play with a Metro Bus in DTLA. Something that should never, ever happen.

Period.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says the MyFigueroa project opened to muted applause, thanks to too many compromises and what ended up as just a semi-protected bike lane, due to a lack of political support and opportunities for public involvement.

Speaking of Streetsblog, Joe Linton notices LA’s incredible disappearing sharrows on 4th Street, and Rosewood Ave. Personally, I consider sharrows a failed experiment; used correctly, they’re good for wayfinding and positioning riders outside the door zone, but little else.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride will meet up with twenty immigration rights advocates riding from Seattle to San Diego for a tour of Long Beach this Sunday.

A Santa Clarita magazine says the city’s Heads Up safety campaign may be working, with collisions down 12% over the first five months of this year.

Writing for the Long Beach Post, Brian Addison suggests the planned expansion of the 710 Freeway won’t be good for the surrounding communities. Or for people on foot or bikes, despite the promises.

 

State

The California legislature has passed AB 2989, which will limit dockless e-scooters to 15 mph, and remove the ridiculous helmet requirement. Now it’s on to the governor’s desk, where we have to worry whether we’ll get Jerry Browned once again.

Streetsblog urges a no vote on Prop 6, which would remove the state’s new gas tax to pay for desperately needed roadway repairs, calling it “an incoherent and childish effort to distract you from Donald Trump.”

A San Diego website recommends the top four things to do on an ebike in the city.

Life is cheap in San Luis Obispo, where a distracted driver walks with probation and community service in the death of a world-class triathlete, thanks in part to the kindness and forgiveness of the victim’s family. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

San Francisco will bring back e-scooters after a four month ban, but gives the contracts to a couple of firms most scooter users have never heard of.

A columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle looks at the arrest of Rich City Rides founder Najari Smith for playing his music too loud and allegedly resisting arrest while leading a group ride, aka Biking While Black. His supporters will rally for Smith at a court hearing scheduled for this morning on the noise violation charge. No doubt he’ll be surrounded by countless drivers arrested in Oakland for bumping loud music from their cars. Right?

Frustration boiled over at a meeting to discuss the death of an Oakland man who was killed in a collision while riding his bike, as family members complained about a lack of information and the slow pace of the investigation.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske starts a conversation on legal liability for group rides.

The booming popularity of ebikes is outpacing attempts to regulate them, as only 10 states have passed legislation to reclassify them. One of those ten is California, which should get credit for pioneering the regulations the others have copied.

Bike Snob goes e-scooting in Portland, and finds them “both highly convenient and laughably benign.” And wonder’s what’s not to like.

Ride carefully out there. A Baltimore bike rider is in critical condition after a collision with another bicyclist.

No bias here. After two bike riders are killed in separate hit-and-runs in a matter of hours in a Kentucky town, the local police urge riders to wear helmets and hi-viz instead of telling drivers not to hit people, and if they do, stop.

In an attempt to keep dockless bikeshare bikes from cluttering the sidewalks, DC makes the situation worse by requiring that they be locked to a bike rack or street sign at the end of each ride, which will greatly reduce the amount of available bike parking for everyone else.

A bicyclist is passing through Louisiana on her way to Key West in an attempt to be the first woman with a prosthetic leg to bike across the US.

After a Lousiana city councilman was killed when his bike was run down from behind by a negligent driver, the parish where the crash occurred naturally responds with a series of punitive, victim-blaming proposals aimed at the people on two wheels, instead of the ones in the big, dangerous machines.

 

International

No bias here, either. A British Columbia letter writer says no one uses the new bike lanes, and those who do are usually towing carts full of stolen goods.

An Alberta letter writer patiently explains that when a bike rider hits a dog, or anything else, they’re more likely to fall over than ride away.

Ottawa police stress that a woman was injured when she fell on her own while riding on a separated bike lane, and hit a passing truck when she fell. If someone can fall off their bike and hit another vehicle, it’s passing too damn close. And it could have been the close pass that caused her to fall.

A suspect has been arrested in the ebike hit-and-run that left a London woman critically injured as she was trying to cross the street. Security cam video clearly shows the victim dart out into the path of the rider, something that has been left out of the previous press reports. Just like with many motor vehicle crashes, if the bike rider had remained at the scene, there probably wouldn’t have been any charges. Or hysterical tabloid stories, for that matter.

A heroic Brit jumped into a moving van and wrestled the driver’s feet of the pedals to stop him after he ran over a bike rider, then led bystanders in pushing the van up a hill to get it off the victim, who was hospitalized in serious but stable condition.

It’s three years behind bars for an English driver who critically injured two bike riders because he was having an argument with his girlfriend — via video chat while driving.

Like most early car makers, Britain’s Aston Martin was founded by bicyclists. Which means James Bond could have been one of us, too.

A UK letter writer brings out every cliche in the book to call bicyclists an “absolute menace.

British advocacy group Cycling UK calls on the government to address a fear of cycling, as a new study shows fears about road safety is the main reason that keeps people off their bikes.

A new French study looks at whether there’s really any benefit to drafting uphill. And concludes there’s more than they thought.

Another ride to add to your bike bucket list — traveling from the German birthplace of the bicycle to the gateway to the Black Forest. Then again, word is the Netherlands isn’t bad, either.

A business writer says South Africans are becoming addicted to overseas cycling events.

An Australian study says it could save the country $380 million dollars a year if motor vehicle occupants all wore bicycle helmets. Remember that if a driver gets on your case for not wearing one. And before you get on mine, yes, I always wear a helmet when I ride, but believe grownups should be able to make that decision for themselves.

A Chinese volunteer teaching in Africa took the long way home, riding nearly 10,000 miles from Benin to the Forbidden Kingdom.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Kiwi cyclist reports he got death threats after getting angry with a teammate while winning gold in mountain biking at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

In today’s mostly spoiler-free Vuelta event, a rider goes from last place to first in the space of 24 hours.

 

Finally…

If it’s divided from the roadway, pained green and has little pictures of a bicycle stenciled on it, it may not be intended for motor vehicles. Sharrows do not a bike boulevard make.

And when you can’t remember the name of the foreign dignitary visiting your country, just call him “the bicycle guy.”

 

 

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